G. Christine Dowding-Metts
Starting as a Sales Associate with Dowding in 1982 after graduating from Olivet College with a BA in Business Administration, Chris quickly assumed Sales Management responsibilities for their five-state region in the sale of the LOPI wood-burning stove line. After several years of success, the wood stove industry declined, leaving Dowding in search of a new market and new customers.
Chris was charged with developing a potential, viable customer, Cummins Engine Co. Over the next few years, she would lead her team and emerge the business to the point of outgrowing their facility. By 1998, Dowding was able to consolidate four plant locations into one in Eaton Rapids, MI. During that time, Chris continued her education and graduated from Northwestern University’s Executive Management Program. Chris was advanced to Sales Manager and was accountable for all four Dowding Industries, Inc. facilities. As a key contributor in expanding the business from 7 Million in 1981 to over 18 Million in 1998, she was promoted to the office of President of the corporation.
Successes and Recognition:
- The naming of Dowding Industries as “Supplier of the Year” by Cummins Engine Co.
- The contribution as a founding member on the Cummins Supplier Council, a typical two-year commitment, that grew to more than seven years of participation
- In 2006, Chris and Jeff Metts formed an affiliate company, Dowding Industries of Iowa, located in Cedar Rapids, IA.
- In 2007 Chris was named CEO of Dowding Industries, Inc.
- Chris formed Dowding Machining to diversify product and customer based into the wind energy sector
- In 2009 Dowding was recognized as being Woman Owned and received the stringent certification from the prestigious Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- In 2011 Dowding received the Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification
- In 2013 Dowding Industries was named in Crain’s Detroit Business publication as one of the Top 25 Woman Owned Businesses in Michigan
- The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
- The Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
- The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA)
- Michigan Manufacturer’s Association (MMA)
- Capital Area Manufacturing Council (CAMC)
- Michigan Chamber of Commerce
- Lansing Chamber of Commerce.
Chris has been active in numerous community service projects and serves on several boards:
- 1990 to 1992 – Eaton County American Cancer Society Board Member
- 2004, 2005 – Trinity United Methodist Youth Group Mission Trips
- 2008 – Chris and husband Jeff Metts were named Grand Marshals for the Eaton Rapids Memorial Day Parade
- 2010 to present – Empty Plate (Food Bank) Board Member
- 2011 to present – Sparrow Hospital Foundation Board Member
- Current member in the Eaton Rapids Community Improvement Committee
- Active advocate for the Capital Area Humane Society